Guwahati: Counting of votes for by-elections in five Assam legislative assembly constituencies, three assembly seats in Meghalaya and one in Mizoram began at 8 am, and the outcome is expected by noon and will be available on the ECI website (https://results.eci.gov.in).
Assam recorded over 73 per cent polling in a peaceful ambience whereas Meghalaya and Mizoram witnessed around 80% voters’ turnout on 30 October polls. Rajabala assembly constituency in Meghalaya recorded 90.63% polling, Mawryngneng reported 78.06% and Mawphlang 82.34% polling. Turial assembly constituency in Mizoram showcased an impressive turnout of voters (over 81 per cent).
The scheduled by-elections in Nagaland was evaded as the National Democratic Progressive Party candidate was declared a winner unopposed from the Shamtorr-Chessor assembly seat.
Meanwhile, a media statement of the election authority described that no victory procession after counting would be allowed, and only two persons will be permitted to accompany the winning candidate (or his/her authorized representative) to receive the certificate. Necessary precautions are made given the Covid-19 restrictions across the country.
State chief electoral officer Nitin Khade reviewed the fool-proof counting arrangements with district electoral officers and expressed satisfaction about the preparations. He directed that all laid down instructions of the Election Commission must be adhered to, and the counting halls would be fully corona-guidelines compliant.
“Fool-proof security measures are taken to ensure smooth conduct of the counting process. Three-layer security arrangements are made in the counting locations. Special security arrangements are made in between the strong room and counting hall, so that no untoward incidents may occur,” said the statement.
Altogether, 18 counting halls are readied for the purpose in Assam, where arrangements of 98 counting tables are made. The authority designated 5 ROs and 28 AROs for counting. Total 141 counting supervisors, 150 counting assistants, and 140 micro observers are being engaged to perform counting smoothly.
The ruling Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) in Assam fielded three newly inducted party candidates who had migrated from the opposition Congress and All India United Democratic Front of Assam (AIUDF) soon after their electoral win, which necessitated the by-elections in Bhabanipur, Mariani and Thowra seats.
However, the demise of two sitting legislators caused the by-elections in Gossaigaon and Tamulpur constituencies. BJP’s political ally, United People’s Party Liberal (UPPL), nominated its candidates in these two seats. The Congress fielded its candidates in all five constituencies. Other parties in the fray include AIUDF, Bodoland People’s Front, Gana Suraksha Party, Communist Party of India, etc.